State Water Commission To Address Remaining East Maui Stream Flow Standards

October 15, 2009, 6:30 AM HST · Updated October 15, 6:42 AM
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The State Commission on Water Resource Management (Commission) is preparing to address the instream flow standards for 16 surface water hydrologic units in east Maui.  This comes one year after the Commission’s decision to establish measurable instream flow standards for five priority hydrologic units in the same region.  Surface water hydrologic units are comparable to the drainage basin or watershed area for each stream.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

File Photo by Wendy Osher.

In May 2001, the Commission received petitions from the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation seeking to restore stream flow for 27 east Maui streams.  Following the completion of several investigations, including a three-year U.S. Geological Survey study of stream flow characteristics and native stream animals, the Commission ruled on eight priority streams in September 2008.  The first eight streams and tributaries occurred within the hydrologic units of Honopou, Hanehoi, Pi’inaau, Waiokamilo, and Wailua Nui.

The remaining 19 streams fall within the 16 surface water hydrologic units of Waikamoi (includes Alo and Wahinepe’e), Puohokamoa, Ha’ipua’ena, Punalau, Honomanû, Nua’ailua, ‘Ôhia (also known as Waianu), West Wailua Iki, East Wailua Iki, Kopiliula (includes Pu’aka’a), Waiohue, Pa’akea, Waiaaka, Kapaula, Hanawî, and Makapipi.

To address the petitions, the Commission staff prepared an Instream Flow Standard Assessment Report consisting of the best available information for each corresponding hydrologic unit.

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Drafts of all 16 reports are available on the Commission website at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/sw_ifsar.htm
The Commission staff will also be holding a public fact gathering meeting at the Pa’ia Community Center on October 15, 2009 from 5 to 9 p.m., to accept oral and written testimony from the public.

“The purpose of the public fact gathering meeting is to provide the public with an opportunity to submit additional facts and data that might not have been included as part of our staff’s initial research,” said Ken Kawahara, Water Commission Deputy Director.  “This is the time to make sure our staff has the best available information to prepare a fair and balanced recommendation to the Commission.”

While the Commissioners will not be present at the October public meeting, the testimony and data received will be compiled and distributed to the Commission for consideration.

The public will also have another opportunity to testify when the Commission hears the staff recommendations at a future meeting to be held on Maui.  The Commission will continue to accept written testimony until October 30, 2009.

For additional information on the east Maui stream petitions, the assessment reports, and the public fact gathering meeting, visit the Commission website at http://hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm.

(Posted by Wendy Osher; Information provided by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources)

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